At the end of turn 3, things look like this.
Team Morrigan wins turn 3 and we are now headed for a decisive turn 4. Team Rodhri rolls 4 dive and gets a 3, so they get to move 3 hexes. They slide the hex that held Morrigan’s banner closer to Luella and consolidate the center hexes behind Rodhri. Team Rodhri decides to go first.
Peet uses Pounce on Blackjaw both in the hopes of KOing him and to put Peet in position to Claim. Just one damage. Damn. Does Peet want to claim here or try to finish off BJ with a Backstab? The stabbers might get Blackjaw, but it’s not a safe bet. Peet also gets to go first in the clash phase if he wants…
No. Let’s just get this KO. Peet Backstabs. He gets 4 results on 5 dice, but with the hit effect, that’s enough. The stabbers form a two stack and attack a Reaver. They fluff the damage roll.
Rodhri places a banner behind him and moves into Rattlebone’s face. Luella moves 1 and plants her banner where Rodhri just stood. The Shield Maidens recruit in front of Luella’s banner and Empower themselves. Luella gets an armor boon. The Household Guard move and march to try to limit access to the banner cluster, but there isn’t much they can do about the Cold Bone who can move out of Rattlebone’s way. At the end of team Rodhri’s plot phase, it looks like this:
Time for Team Morrigan's plot phase.
Blackjaw rallies and moves. The Reavers like where they are, so they just try to Intimidate Peet. They succeed, and he gets a dodge blight.
Morrigan's move is interesting now. Should she sacrifice a bit of position to make that banner safer or get a speed buff and make a big turn down to threaten the banners? I'd say a safe banner has higher upside; there are other things we can do to squash the dwarf banners later. So, Morrigan moves one hex south and claims on the far western hex.
The Cold Bones need to get out of Rattlebone's way, so they move and tell their Mistress that she's cool enough for a speed boon.
Rattlebone needs to get into the banners, so she dashes down to crush the blue one, and protects Morrigan's banner a bit by tossing agrasping curse onto Luella, which hits and debuffs her movement. Roll the Bones gets a 1 - no help.
The Hexlings move to protect Morrigan from the Shield Maidens lest history repeat itself. Then they Attune Magic to gain a damage boon in the hopes of passing it to Morrigan later.
Heading into the clash phase, the board looks like this:
Team Rodhri goes first. Is there a way to get to Morrigan's banner? Not with Luella's speed blight. Damn. Is there a way to protect Luella's banner? That would essentially involve killing Rattlebone. It's a dicey proposition, especially considering that it would be nice to activate later with Rodhri since he still has his ultimate. Ok, well, that means we look for a KO. Morrigan is only on 3 health. The Maidens can get there. Let's go! The lone Maiden moves West to block Morrigan's path to the Hexes. The 2 stack of Maidens swings around the Hexling and Cleave the big Ice lady. They have a damage boon, so this is a 6/5. They hit and do 1 damage.
It's team Morrigan's turn. Lots of good options. Crush the banner with Rattlebone? Nah. Two reasons why not. 1: we can probably get it later. 2: This would let Rodhri freely use his ultimate safely. We'll be cagey in the middle. Kill Peet? We can also probably do that later. Here's the move: crush the banner with Morrigan. She still has a speed boon and thus an impressive movement 4. She zips over to the middle hex and tosses an Iceblade at Rodhri just for fun. Why Rodhri? Well, he has 2 wounds. He will get an auto wound if this hits because of his damage blight. Morrigan hits and rolls just a 4. Oh well. She has won a banner advantage (for now).
Team Rodhri has essentially two options now: Peet or Luella. Peet is probably about to die, so let's get something out of him. He plots revenge and successfully kills a reaver off of the three stack. They'll have a harder time grouping up to hit the goblin now.
The board looks like this:
So what is team Morrigan to do? There are basically two priorities: get steps and deny Rodhri's ultimate. Team Morrigan has the final activation, so holding Rattlebone to the end seems like the move. Let's kill some Gobbos! Blackjaw starts by kicking the lone stabber. He misses. Not great. This puts him in a tough spot. Fireball Peet or continue attacking stabbers? Not KOing peet would be rough. Even with the dodge blight, its only a 66% shot. Expending the blight would be sad without a KO. Let's keep trying to kill stabbers. BJ fireballs the two stack. Each attack roll has a 41% shot. He hits one and kills it. Two steps and a third action for BJ. He tries to smack the wester one with his axe. Only a 20% shot. It misses. Frustrating. Not only has BJ not scored much, he has also failed to open a pathway for the Reavers to reunite before they attack Peet. Perhaps the Reavers should have killed him before he had a chance to thin their ranks.
Let's see if Luella can KO Morrigan! She opens with Arc Lighting. It hits, but the damage roll is a 3, so no damage. Let's at least try for two steps then. Rolling Thunder on the Cold Bone. This time, the dice are kinder. Luella gets the two steps back from Blackjaw and a dodge blight.
We're getting down to the end now, and it's starting to become clear what will swing the outcome. Morrigan's banner is safe, so team Rodhri functionally has only a three step lead at this point. Team Morrigan can potentially get steps by KOing Peet with the Reavers, and potentially snagging a step or two more with Rattlebone and the Cold Bones. Team Rodhri could potentially score by KOing Morrigan with Rodhri and potentially snagging a Cold Bone or Hexling with the Household Guard. Rodhri can drop a banner, but it is unlikely to stay standing unless he can one-shot Ralltebone again. Unlikely. So, in all, each side has the potential to snag roughly 5 steps. Team Rodhri is looking good since they have a bit of a cushion. Still, there are dice to be rolled.
It's Team Morrigan's go, so the Unburnt Reavers issue a badass War Cry, and unleash a Cleaving Strike at Sneaky Peet. A two stack with an accuracy boon swings at 5/5. They get a 4 on the attack roll - just enough with Peet's dodge blight - and KO the gobbo. Team Morrigan really needed that. If the turn ended now, they'd win.
But it doesn't. The easiest call for team Rodhri is for the Household Guard to get a Hexling. The 2 stack up north groups up to target one, while the stack in the southeast decides to run away from Rattlebone. The Household Guards' sword strike is a 5/5 which... misses. Ouch. They had 86% odds to hit. That's huge. That extra step would have given team Rodhri a lot more options.
The Hexlings recruit and pass their damage boon on to Rattlebone.
The stabbers have literally nothing meaningful that they can do. They activate but take no actions.
The Cold Bones take a desperate swing at a household guard. They are rolling a big 2/4 here. They roll a one which HITS thanks to the dodge blight on the guards. They do not get the KO, but they do remove the dwarves' armor boon. This matters.
Heading into the final activations, we've got Rodhri to go. If nothing changes, he'll lose by one. If he kills Morrigan, he certainly wins. If he kills a follower, Rattlebone will have to kill a follower to win. It's an interesting spot. Rattlebone can roll 7 damage dice into the guards. She's got a 69% (nice) chance of getting the KO here. Rodhri has a damage blight, so he's only got a 56% chance to take out Morrigan. Yikes. Still, it beats the 31% chance that Morrigan fails to KO a dwarf, so here we go. Rodhri hits. The damage roll is... a 6 on 5 dice! He got there! The dice can disappoint, but they can also come through. For his second action, Rodhri plants his banner because why not.
Rattlebone has the last desperate activation. There's just one thing to do. She stomps the banner and Deadly Curses Rodhri. She hits. The damage roll needs to be an 8 on 7 dice. It's a 17% shot. She rolls a 4 and does no damage.
The winners: TEAM RODHRI!
Whew. That's enough for now. I may write a reflection piece later, but now I need a drink. I hope you enjoyed.